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Tyler S.

How to treat others? I need guidance.

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I’ve been wrestling with this one issue for a long time now since I started to try and get right with God and believe. I seem to receive answers that are completely split down the middle (which leads me to think this is a pretty controversial topic). How am I to treat a person who I know engages in a life of sin?! I am a Christian high school student who, for example, has friends who happen to be gay, vulgar mouthed, prideful, of another religion etc... they aren’t awful people and in everyday interaction we have zero issue (many are even really loving and kind to me)! I try my best to treat em with love and respect because...I dunno...I feel like that’s what God would want me to do? To show them his love through example? And I feel as though attempting to talk them out of sin (especially considering some aren’t Christian or religious at all) would actually push them FARTHER from God and salvation because, in their minds, I’d be reinforcing the judgemental Christian stereotype, not to mention the fact that I’d just feel plain wrong trying to talk to them about THEIR sinful tendencies when I still grapple with my own. I see so many Christians out there screaming at people that they’ll die and burn and that they’re even hated hated by God! They seem to have scriptural basis for this too! But then I also hear Christians who say “God respects free-will as should we...all we can do is pray for them and try to be an example of God’s love in their lives.” So which is correct or is it somewhere in the middle? I’m worried because I’m a fairly liberal-minded person who just wants to treat other people fairly and sow happiness amongst my peers...but I feel like, in some weird way, I’m a bad Christian for that. I don’t want to be lukewarm or double minded...but I also want to be able to live my life and treat my friends with kindness and love. This is really eating at me so any advice or experiences surrounding this deceptively common issue would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and Bless! 

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What is keeping you from treating them "with kindness and love?"

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14 minutes ago, Tyler S. said:

I’ve been wrestling with this one issue for a long time now since I started to try and get right with God and believe. I seem to receive answers that are completely split down the middle (which leads me to think this is a pretty controversial topic). How am I to treat a person who I know engages in a life of sin?! I am a Christian high school student who, for example, has friends who happen to be gay, vulgar mouthed, prideful, of another religion etc... they aren’t awful people and in everyday interaction we have zero issue (many are even really loving and kind to me)! I try my best to treat em with love and respect because...I dunno...I feel like that’s what God would want me to do? To show them his love through example? And I feel as though attempting to talk them out of sin (especially considering some aren’t Christian or religious at all) would actually push them FARTHER from God and salvation because, in their minds, I’d be reinforcing the judgemental Christian stereotype, not to mention the fact that I’d just feel plain wrong trying to talk to them about THEIR sinful tendencies when I still grapple with my own. I see so many Christians out there screaming at people that they’ll die and burn and that they’re even hated hated by God! They seem to have scriptural basis for this too! But then I also hear Christians who say “God respects free-will as should we...all we can do is pray for them and try to be an example of God’s love in their lives.” So which is correct or is it somewhere in the middle? I’m worried because I’m a fairly liberal-minded person who just wants to treat other people fairly and sow happiness amongst my peers...but I feel like, in some weird way, I’m a bad Christian for that. I don’t want to be lukewarm or double minded...but I also want to be able to live my life and treat my friends with kindness and love. This is really eating at me so any advice or experiences surrounding this deceptively common issue would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and Bless! 

Hi Tyler, Do you know the song "What A Friend We Have In Jesus"Jump to search by Joseph Medlicott Scriven, (10 September 1819 – 10 August 1886) . The message about prayer is clear. The battle is the Lord's so we give Him our support, making sure we have our spiritual armour on daily (Eph 6),  but we do not engage the enemy in our own strength or take on burdens the Lord hasn't given us. (Matt 11:30)  

  1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.
  4. Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
    Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
    May we ever, Lord, be bringing
    All to Thee in earnest prayer.
    Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
    There will be no need for prayer—
    Rapture, praise, and endless worship
    Will be our sweet portion there.
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11 minutes ago, Willie T said:

What is keeping you from treating them "with kindness and love?"

Nothing! I try and WANT to! Like I said, I feel like it’s what God would want...but I browse Christian sites and social media groups and I stumble across a lot of people who believe that TRULY loving a sinner involves getting at them and telling them that they’ll burn in Hell for eternity...that if you REALLY loved them you’d try and convert them or change their ways. But as I said I feel like that’d just push them MORE away from God. And I don’t wanna judge or call people out cause I’d definitly be a hypocrite for that. So I’m confused and hurt...the thought of these decent people, my friends, whom I love and see every day burning for all time makes me want to...frankly? Vomit. It makes me sick to my stomach! I WANT them to be saved! But I also don’t want to call out. I feel stuck...

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5 minutes ago, Michael37 said:

Hi Tyler, Do you know the song "What A Friend We Have In Jesus"Jump to search by Joseph Medlicott Scriven, (10 September 1819 – 10 August 1886) . The message about prayer is clear. The battle is the Lord's so we give Him our support, making sure we have our spiritual armour on daily (Eph 6),  but we do not engage the enemy in our own strength or take on burdens the Lord hasn't given us. (Matt 11:30)  

  1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.
  4. Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
    Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
    May we ever, Lord, be bringing
    All to Thee in earnest prayer.
    Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
    There will be no need for prayer—
    Rapture, praise, and endless worship
    Will be our sweet portion there.

That’s exactly how I already try to be! I have my beliefs about the way they live but I don’t want to judge or be a hypocrite. I want to love them and be kind and be an example of Gods love to them...in action. But then I see all these people saying the Bible WANTS us to expose sin and judge “righteously” (which considering God calls us all unrighteous I don’t think is actually possible). Please I WANT to believe and live the way that (awesome) song you’ve shared there describes! But on the internet and social media I often encounter really aggressive Christians who accuse me of being lukewarm or double minded for not exposing my friends for, for example, being gay. And that I’ll be condemned for that. That, in some way, I’m denying Christ by NOT attempting to convert, expose, or “righteously” judge my peers. Please I need some guidance 😭

 

That’s a great song btw thank you for sharing! 

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3 minutes ago, Tyler S. said:

Nothing! I try and WANT to! Like I said, I feel like it’s what God would want...but I browse Christian sites and social media groups and I stumble across a lot of people who believe that TRULY loving a sinner involves getting at them and telling them that they’ll burn in Hell for eternity...that if you REALLY loved them you’d try and convert them or change their ways. But as I said I feel like that’d just push them MORE away from God. And I don’t wanna judge or call people out cause I’d definitly be a hypocrite for that. So I’m confused and hurt...the thought of these decent people, my friends, whom I love and see every day burning for all time makes me want to...frankly? Vomit. It makes me sick to my stomach! I WANT them to be saved! But I also don’t want to call out. I feel stuck...

So, don't.  For now, just treat them with the same kindness and love you have for years before.  News Flash:  You cannot "convert" them.  Nor can you "make them change their ways."  And you know what?  God knows that.

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1 minute ago, Willie T said:

So, don't.  For now, just treat them with the same kindness and love you have for years before.  News Flash:  You cannot "convert" them.  Nor can you "make them change their ways."  And you know what?  God knows that.

I suppose so. And thank you for bearing with me. I must sound frantic and that’s only because I sort of am...I love these people and they’ve done a lot for me over the years. They’re decent people (by human standards I suppose and not God’s). I want them to be saved. I think I should just take the problem to God in prayer and HOPE against all hope that he touches their lives and they see the truth 😔... thanks again. It’s always refreshing to have people actually engage in helping me with such issues 😅. Bless! 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Tyler S. said:

I suppose so. And thank you for bearing with me. I must sound frantic and that’s only because I sort of am...I love these people and they’ve done a lot for me over the years. They’re decent people (by human standards I suppose and not God’s). I want them to be saved. I think I should just take the problem to God in prayer and HOPE against all hope that he touches their lives and they see the truth 😔... thanks again. It’s always refreshing to have people actually engage in helping me with such issues 😅. Bless! 

One small detail...…. Believing in Jesus' ability to save those He wants in His family, is not "hoping against hope."  It is trusting that Jesus is stronger than us and knows more than we do.

Edited by Willie T
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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Tyler S. said:

Nothing! I try and WANT to! Like I said, I feel like it’s what God would want...but I browse Christian sites and social media groups and I stumble across a lot of people who believe that TRULY loving a sinner involves getting at them and telling them that they’ll burn in Hell for eternity...that if you REALLY loved them you’d try and convert them or change their ways. But as I said I feel like that’d just push them MORE away from God. And I don’t wanna judge or call people out cause I’d definitly be a hypocrite for that. So I’m confused and hurt...the thought of these decent people, my friends, whom I love and see every day burning for all time makes me want to...frankly? Vomit. It makes me sick to my stomach! I WANT them to be saved! But I also don’t want to call out. I feel stuck...

It's the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. (Rom 2:4) God in His goodness has made His Will known through His Works and His Word. Our conduct as Christians is important, and from your OP, Tyler it seems you have a desire to live according to the Will of God, so make this known to those around you. Don't pussyfoot around. Preach the Word in season and out of season, whether popular or not. Here are some verses that I hope you already know, and hope will continually help you: 

1Pe 3:14-17
(14)  But and if you suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are you: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
(15)  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
(16)  Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
(17)  For it is better, if the will of God be so, that you suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

Edited by Michael37
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You are going to be (if you let yourself be...) surprised at the changes in some of your friends over the next six months, or so, if you just begin praying for them.  And there are several different ways to do that... we can discuss that in the coming weeks.

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